(1) The Ordination and Purpose of Civil Government

If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.

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(2) The Purpose of Gentile Civil Government

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 27, 2017


In spite of conscience and the restraint of the Holy Spirit, what happened without civil government? Very soon after the fall, God was grieved and repented that he had made man because the imagination of the thoughts of the heart were “only evil continually.” “All flesh had corrupted his way on the earth.” The earth was filled with violence. Remember that God had told men not to take vengeance; and that, if he did so, He would take vengeance on man sevenfold. So God told Noah He would destroy them.[1] The total corruption of mankind, except for Noah and his family, had occurred in a relatively short period of time after the fall of man and his expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The only remedy was God’s judgment and the initiation of an additional direct control over men.

Even man’s God-given common sense will tell a man the need for civil government. For example, “Alexander Hamilton asked and answered his own question: ‘Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.'”[2]

At the flood, for the first time, God made a new covenant with man giving man the responsibility for ruling over man for Him; God ordained human or civil government. “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” [3] God gave man the responsibility of taking the life of one who “sheddeth man’s blood,” “for in the image of God made he man.” [4] God gave man the right to take the life of a man, which in the very nature of the case gave man the authority to govern others. Unless [civil] government has the right to the highest form of punishment, its basic authority is questionable and insufficient to protect properly those it governs. He ordained civil government for the earthly benefit of man—to control evil.

NoahFoundGraceCivil government was established within the covenant God made with Noah. The elements of that covenant are:

  1. The relation of man to the earth under the Adamic Covenant is confirmed (Gen. 8.21).
  2. The order of nature is confirmed (Gen. 8.22).
  3. Human government is established (Gen. 9.1-6).
  4. Earth is secured against another universal judgment by water (Gen. 8.21; 9.11).
  5. A prophetic declaration is made that from Ham will descend an inferior and servile posterity (Gen. 9.24, 25).
  6. A prophetic declaration is made that Shem will have a peculiar relation to Jehovah (Gen. 9.26, 27). All divine revelation is through Semitic men, and Christ, after the flesh, descends from Shem.
  7. A prophetic declaration is made that from Japheth will descend the ‘enlarged’ races (Gen. 9.27). Government, science, and art, speaking broadly, are and have been Japhetic, so that history is the indisputable record of the exact fulfillment of these declarations.

God then ordered man to multiply and populate the earth: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”[5]

The covenant God made with Noah was to continue: It was to be an “everlasting covenant” [6] for “perpetual generations.”[7] Thus, the covenant is in effect today.

Would man obey God on the basis of conscience, the restraint of the Holy Spirit, and human government? I will answer that question in the next study.


[1] Ge. 6.5-7, 12-13; 8.21.

[2] M. Stanton Evans, The Theme Is Freedom (Washington, D.C.: Regency Publishing, 1994), p. 193 cited in William P. Grady, What Hath God Wrought? (Knoxville, TN: Grady Publications, Inc. 1999), p. 72.

[3] Ro. 13.1b,c.

[4] Ge. 9.5-6.

[5] Ge. 9.1.

[6] Ge. 9.12.

[7] Ge. 9.16.

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